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Chappaqua's Kevin O'Brien Is Named Student Of Distinction

(From L to R): BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Administration John McCarthy, Marty O’Brien, Jackie O’Brien, Deborah Ashley, Kevin O’Brien, Florence Mooney and Joanne Robert.
(From L to R): BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Administration John McCarthy, Marty O’Brien, Jackie O’Brien, Deborah Ashley, Kevin O’Brien, Florence Mooney and Joanne Robert. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Kevin O'Brien, a Chappaqua resident and senior at Horace Greeley High School, was honored as a student of distinction Wednesday, April 8 at the Chappaqua Board of Education meeting.

At the ceremony, BOCES teacher Deborah Ashley presented O’Brien with a certificate of recognition and a medal in honor of his accomplishments in the New Visions program. Ashley noted O’Brien is an engaged student who keeps the classroom laughing with his jokes and referred to the evening’s honoree as “kind and thoughtful.”

“Kevin was nominated as a Student of Distinction because he is an amazing student and an incredible citizen,” Ashley said, adding he is knowledgeable, curious and dedicated to making a lasting difference in the field of sustainability.

In addition to his work at BOCES, O’Brien also participates in an internship at the Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale, where he has the opportunity to do hands-on work. O’Brien’s responsibilities as an intern include helping to care for the center’s animals, presenting these animals to visitors and maintaining the landscape.

O’Brien, who also is working on a research paper about bio-remediation, said he wants to pursue a career as a naturalist after graduation.

“I’ve had a significant interest in the natural world, especially animals, since I was about six,” O’Brien said. “Working at the Nature Center has been ideal for me. I really appreciate the New Visions program. It’s given me the guidance that I need to focus on my passion.”

O’Brien was accompanied to the ceremony by family members and BOCES administrators and teachers.

“Were exceptionally proud of Kevin,” said Jackie O’Brien, Kevin’s mother. “Despite any of the challenges he’s faced, he continues to be one of the best learners that I’ve been acquainted with, and I’m a teacher. He’s so persistent in getting answers for himself. He’s worked so hard and his teachers have been so helpful. This program is one of the best things he’s ever had the chance to experience, and I’m not exaggerating.”

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